Tag Archives: riot

Ex-Navy Seals Killed in Libya weren’t part of ambassador’s security detail but rose to occasion

Ex-Navy Seals weren’t part of ambassador’s security detail but rose to occasion, officials now confirm

BY John Solomon
Why It Matters:

The Obama administration's initial account of the Libyan consulate attack didn’t give the full story about two ex-Navy SEALs who helped repel the security breach until they were killed. Now officials are confirming those two heroes’ real jobs at the embassy along with evidence of ties between the attack and al-Qaida.

The two former Navy SEALs killed in last week's attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi were not part of Ambassador Chris Stevens’ official security detail but took up arms in an effort to protect the facility when it was overrun by insurgents, U.S. officials tell the Washington Guardian.

The two former SEALS, Tyrone Woods, 41, and Glen Doherty, 42, were not employed by the State Department diplomatic security office and instead were what is known as personal service contractors who had other duties related to security, the officials said.

They stepped into action, however, when Stevens became separated from the small security detail normally assigned to protect him when he traveled from the more fortified embassy in Tripoli to Benghazi, the officials said.

The two ex-Seals and others engaged in a lengthy firefight with the extremists who attacked the compound, a fight that stretched from the inner area of the consulate to an outside annex and a nearby safe house — a location that the insurgents appeared to know about, the officials said.

The officials provided the information to the Washington Guardian, saying they feared the Obama administration’s scant description of the episode left a misimpression that the two ex-Navy SEALs might have been responsible for the ambassador’s personal safety or become separated from him.

“Woods and Doherty weren’t part of the detail, nor were they personally responsible for the ambassador’s security, but they stepped into the breach when the attacks occurred and their actions saved others lives — and they shouldn’t be lumped in with the security detail,” one senior official said, speaking only on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the State Department.

The administration has not fully described the two former Navy SEALs’ activities, characterizing their work only vaguely as being security related. “Our embassies could not carry on our critical work around the world without the service and sacrifice of brave people like Tyrone and Glen,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after the attacks.

Time and again the Seals prove their ability to persevere. Even in the midst of No Easy Day.

As recently as Sunday, UN Ambassador Susan Rice gave a similar description. “Two of the four Americans who were killed were there providing security. That was their function. And indeed, there were many other colleagues who were doing the same with them,” Rice told ABC’s This Week program.

In fact, officials said, the two men were personal service contractors whose official function was described as “embassy security,” but whose work did not involve personal protection of the ambassador or perimeter security of the compound.

The details emerged the same day that U.S. officials confirmed in public a Washington Guardian story Friday that U.S. intelligence believes al-Qaida or its affiliates played a role in the attack. “We are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda’s affiliates,” Matt Olsen, the director of the National Counterrorism Center, told lawmakers.

Administration officials had downplayed al-Qaida connections shortly after the attack.

Many U.S. agencies in foreign hotspots like Benghazi rely on and even share contract workers with special skills like those of retired Navy SEALs for security, reconnaissance and threat assessments.

Unlike full embassies such as the one in Tripoli, consulates like Benghazi usually don’t have a contingent of Marines to provide security, and private contractors help fulfill some of those responsibilities. The Washington Guardian reported last week concerns about the embassy security that predated the deadly attack.

Those briefed on the latest intelligence say investigators are trying to determine when and why Stevens’ official State Department security team got separated from the ambassador when the attacks occurred the evening of Sept. 11.

The separation of the team from the ambassador remains one of the more serious matters under review, the officials said.

In addition, while the administration has downplayed any link to al-Qaida, there is evidence some of the attackers were affiliated with another group that sympathizes with al-Qaida and has grown more influential in Libya and other parts of north Africa.

State Department officials did not respond to emails or phone calls seeking comment Wednesday.

The current evidence leads U.S. intelligence to believe that a band of Islamist extremists with some ties to the north African affiliate of al-Qaida had accumulated a stash of weapons and extra human muscle, performed some reconnaissance to identify possible U.S. targets, and may have even infiltrated the Libyan security forces that help protect the consulate in hopes of eventually conducting a terrorist operation somewhere in Benghazi.

However, U.S. intelligence does not believe — at present — that the attackers specifically targeted Stevens, official said. Instead, they think the attackers sprang into action when, seeing crowds forming outside the consulate on Sept. 11, they perceived an opportunity to carry out a terrorist attack, officials said.

“Yes, they were killed in a terrorist attack on our embassy,” Olsen told the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Wednesday. “The best information we have now, the facts that we have now, indicates an opportunistic attack on our embassy.”

U.S. officials say they have some evidence at least one of the attackers had prior connections to al-Qaida’s senior leadership and that others were linked to a sympathetic spinoff group in northern Africa known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, which is gaining influence in Libya.

Specifically, U.S. intelligence is investigating whether there is any connection to an al-Qaida-linked player named Sufyan Ben Qumu, who was captured by U.S. officials after the September 11, 2001 attacks and held at Guantanamo Bay for years before being released to Libyan authorities by the Bush administration in 2007. Qumu has emerged in recent months as an increasingly influential Islamist figure in eastern Libya, near Benghazi.

Fox News reported Wednesday night he might be a mastermind of the attack, but U.S. intelligence officials said such conclusions are premature.

“There’s an active effort to uncover those individuals and groups who were responsible for the attack. Any suggestion that a leading suspect or ‘mastermind’ of the attack has been identified at this point is premature. It is safe to assume that any significant extremist in Eastern Libya is going to be under a lot of scrutiny right now,” one U.S. intelligence official told the Washington Guardian.

U.S. intelligence believes part of the motivation for launching the attack was a video from al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri that surfaced the night of Sept. 10, imploring Libyans to attack Americans in retribution for the U.S. drone strike that killed Libyan-born al-Qaida leader Abu Yahya al-Libi in June.

The Washington Guardian reported on Friday that U.S. intelligence had intercepted and translated Zawahiri’s message imploring Libyans to attack U.S. officials the night before the consulate attack and were still analyzing its significance when the ambassador was killed. No significant changes to security countermeasures at the diplomatic mission were taken until after the compound was overrun.

SOURCE

Table’s Turn: Zimmerman’s Lawsuit Against Al Sharpton, NBC, and the Martin Family Attorneys

Zimmerman’s Lawsuit Against Al Sharpton, NBC, and the Martin Family Attorneys
Jerri Cook

In a twist not even the best fiction writers could have seen coming, the Trayvon Martin case, instigated by a couple of sheister attorneys looking to make money from a tragedy, will reportedly end with George Zimmerman recovering legal damages from Al Sharpton, NBC, and the Trayvon Martin family attorneys, Daryl Parks and Benjamin Crump.

The first claim is likely to be intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED). To be successful, Zimmerman will have to show that conduct of Al Sharpton and NBC was so extreme and outrageous that it transcended all bounds of decency; that they acted with either the purpose to cause Zimmerman extreme emotional distress or acted with reckless disregard for Zimmerman’s emotional well being, and that Al Sharpton and NBC caused him identifiable emotional damage. Here, Al Sharpton publically claimed that Trayvon Martin was murdered and that George Zimmerman should be arrested for the crime. The ensuing civil unrest and threats of racial violence caused Zimmerman to go into hiding. There is no doubt that crying racism and murder to a group of self-radicalized Black militants is beyond all bounds of decency. Any White peron accused of killing an unarmed Black child because of racism would be terrified of the mob’s reaction. If Zimmerman has been treated by a physician for any kind of emotional trauma caused by Sharpton linking him to a murder that never occured, Sharpton’s going to be held responsible.
Advertisement

NBC will likely also be found liable to Zimmerman for IIED because a producuer who admittedly altered an audio recording to make it look like Zimmerman harbored racial prejudices against Blacks. The result made all of America believe that George Zimmerman was the most wretched racist on the planet. Again, this sort of behavior is wholly unacceptable in a society that values established due process and the search for the truth. This act, combined with Sharpton’s incessant race-baiting no doubt caused Zimmerman intense emotional pain.

The second against Al Sharpton and NBC claim is likely to be twofold- defamation and the invasion of privacy. The common law elements of defamation are 1) a false statement, 2) about or concerning the plaintiff, 3) communicated to a third person, and 4) damage to the plaintiff’s reputation. While it’s generally held that defamatory speech is slander and written communications are libel, where the speech is recorded and widely available, the proper claim is libel, which is held to be the more serious of the two as video recordings become permanent because they are ubiquitiously reproduced and shared across the Internet via social networking.Clearly, Al Sharpton repeatedly told people that Trayvon Martin was murdered by a racist and that George Zimmerman should be held responsible. As we are finding out, there was no racially motivated murder here. Sharpton’s statements on MSNBC and at the numerous rallies he appeared at were patently false, and they were clearly about George Zimmerman. The damage to George Zimmerman’s reputation is grave. He’s been branded a racist child murder by Sharpton. He had to quit his job and leave his community because of the damage done to his reputation.

While Sharpton’s employer, NBC, would normally not be liable for Sharpton’s intentional torts, they certainly could be held responsible for his behavior under a negligence theory. If NBC knew, or should’ve known, that Sharpton’s on-air race-baiting and vitriolic conjecture would lead to the destruction of George Zimmerman’s reputation, and did nothing to prevent Sharpton from harming Zimmerman, NBC will also be looking at a negligence action.

An invasion of privacy claim will stand against NBC because of the altering of the audio tape. The publication of the audio placing George Zimmerman in a false light that is offensive to a reasonuble perosn under the circumstances, and satisfies the main elements of a false light invasion of privacy claim. Because the producer has reportedly admitted to altering the audio to make the story seem like a hate crime, there will be little problem with establishing intent here. Because this is a story of public interest, Zimmerman will have to show that it was done with malice. What could be more malicious than deliberately portraying someone as a racist child killer without a shred of proof?

The third claim will be against the Martin family attorney whose professional malpractice brought a nation to the precipice of a race riot. It was attorney Benjamin Crump who contacted Al Sharpton. Crump called Sharpton after trying to intimidate Sheriff Lee into arresting Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin. When Crump realized he wasn’t going to be able to bring a wrongful death suit against the city or county (his specialty by the way is suing state and local governments), Crump decided to invent a racial controversy in order to force the Sanford Police Department into a settlement. Benjamin Crump manufactured outrage over a hate crime that was itself manufactured. This is negligence of the worst sort. It’s willful.

As an attorney, Benjamin Crump has a duty to adhere to the principles of law. If you don’t have a merit-based case, the law holds you have no case. It is malpractice to invent knowingly invent one. The harm caused by Crump’s breach of duty is mind-numbing. There were death threats to Zimmerman and his family from militant Black racists. There were retalitory killings of White people. All of this on top of the injury to George Zimmerman. He has lost everything for no other reason than a greedy attorney wanted to shake down the police for money. It’s shameful. It’s this sort of behavior that gives legal professionals a horrible public image., visit kaplunmarx.com/ to get the help from skilled attorneys, that have earned five-star ratings from over two hundred former clients on Yelp and Google reviews.

Thanks a bunch Ben.

SOURCE

Putin foes encircle center of Moscow with 10 mile round human chain

Putin foes encircle center of Moscow

Custom Search

— Thousands of ebullient Russians stood in a nearly continuous 10-mile chain circling the center of Moscow on Sunday, warning Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that his years of undisputed rule are over even as he prepares to take the presidency in an avalanche of votes next week.

Putin has been Russia’s unchallenged master for 12 years, and the demonstrators who have been rallying persistently since December understand that there is virtually no possibility he will depart any time soon. Winning the March 4 election will put him in office for another six years. But the demonstrators have him on notice that they are grooming themselves as involved citizens and will be heard.

Two weeks before Russia holds its presidential election, hundreds of motorists circled central Moscow to demand that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin allow free elections. Last Saturday night, pro-Putin motorists hit the streets.

Two weeks before Russia holds its presidential election, hundreds of motorists circled central Moscow to demand that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin allow free elections. Last Saturday night, pro-Putin motorists hit the streets.

And so they stood, in freezing puddles and falling snow, shoulder to shoulder along most of Moscow’s Garden Ring Road — double rows here, a sparse stretch there. With the color white as the symbol of their desire for clean elections and a clean government, they wore white ribbons, flew white balloons, brandished white scarves and waved white roses or chrysanthemum bouquets.

The plan was to stand in silence, but cars filled with supporters cheered them on, cruising slowly before the demonstrators, saluting them, waving their own ribbons and flowers, honking their horns with exuberance.

“People are happy,” said Andrei Filozov, planted on a corner near a sea of muddy water. “They feel free.”

After years of acquiescence, they had given themselves the freedom to act. “We’re standing here, showing the changes that have gone on inside ourselves,” said Filozov, 43, a philosopher. “It’s very mystical.”

The latest poll by the independent Levada Center suggests that Putin will win 63 to 66 percent of the vote in the contest. That is no surprise, Filozov said, given the vast government resources at his disposal and the average person’s political inexperience. People need time to nurture their political awareness, and realistically their goals must be long-term, he said. But they will not turn back to the years of indifference that allowed Putin to grow so powerful.

“He will not occupy too many pages in our history books,” Filozov said. “It will be a short history, sad and dark.”

Alexander Sotin, 40, a historian, said the Muscovites standing in the cold were trying to remember what it was like to be a citizen and not a subject.

“Today this great city is like a small village as we make a community of ourselves,” he said. “I hope that year by year our Russian people will make themselves masters of their own fate.”

Police estimated that 11,000 people took part Sunday, although a rough estimate made during a trolley ride of the circuit suggested twice that number — not counting the people in the many cars that honked in solidarity.

The sentiment was anti-Putin and pro honest elections, rather than a rally in favor of an opposition candidate. One car carried a sign in favor of honest amphorae, an allusion to a dive Putin made in the Black Sea last year, when he came to the surface clutching two obviously planted ancient Greek urns.

The exuberant drivers lifted the spirits of Maria Kokovkina, 32, a psychologist. “On my way here, I wasn’t feeling very cheerful,” she said, “but now I feel great.”

She knows the euphoria won’t last, but people have awakened from their acceptance of the status quo, and for now that is accomplishment enough, she said.

“Stability is the biggest myth of the Putin Age,” said Danik Lalin, who works in information technology. “There’s a slow but steady rotting. If you call that stability, then the best stability is in the morgue.”

Along the sidewalks, gaggles of girlfriends snapped iPhone photos, couples walked arm- in-arm, parents brought children.

Irina Andreyeva, 84, came to Moscow from Archangel, near the Arctic Circle. Barely 5 feet tall, she waved her white ribbon energetically at the passing cars. “I feel young and full of life here,” she said. “I feel as I did in 1991.” That was the year she demonstrated for freedom, democracy and Boris Yeltsin — and celebrated the demise of the Soviet Union.

Alexei Bolshakov, 59, came to Moscow from Almetyesk, 660 miles to the east, because he was angry that government employees had been sent to populate a huge pro-Putin rally Thursday, and he was irritated that Putin had accused the United States and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton of stirring up the opposition and financing it.

“I paid my own way,” he said. “Mrs. Clinton is not paying me.”

Late in the afternoon, several hundred activists gathered in Revolution Square, met by a large contingent of riot police as well as men dressed as Cossacks with whips and scowling young men in civilian clothes who the protesters believed to be provocateurs. One activist was attacked by a young man with a beer bottle; a fight ensued and a few arrests were made.

Overall, the day went peacefully, with demonstrators reflecting on a future without Putin in charge — a future they would like to see begin March 5, the day after the election.

SOURCE

International Currencies Increasingly Rejected in the Face of Inflation

International Currencies Increasingly Rejected in the Face of Inflation

Activist Post

Currency collapse is hardly something new. Especially when that currency is backed by nothing. In G. Edward Griffin’s seminal work, The Creature From Jekyll Island, he states that once the “business of banking” by fiat began:

This led immediately to what would become an almost unbroken record from then to the present: a record of inflation, booms and busts, suspension of payments, bank failures, repudiation of currencies, and recurring spasms o economic chaos. (pg. 184)

Since this story of banking is so oft-repeated, there are also a fair number of examples of how prosperity — or at least stability and self-sufficiency — was restored afterward. In nearly every case, it came from desperate, but determined individuals who shrugged off the shackles of central banking, and either returned to the currency they used previous to government hijacking, restored pre-money barter systems, or created something entirely new.

The modern-day, planet-wide collapse of fiat currencies is providing additional real-time examples of how forsaken citizens are taking matters into their own hands. Let us look at just the two most affected: Greece and Spain.

Greece

It is a travesty that the nation where democracy and gold-backed coinage was first developed should become the poster child of a whirling black hole of debt and dependency brought on by autocratic rule. Regardless, despite the austerity riots filling city streets to make demands, there are indications that some communities are finished with demanding anything from a provably corrupt government that is literally foreign to their best interests.

The video below illustrates the rebirth of diverse means of exchange such as time banks, barter networks, barter currency, and “priceless” commodities in Greece:

Spain

The Daily Mail reports on a town of 3,000 called Villamayor de Santiago, where “rebellious” locals have reintroduced the peseta in a project to thwart the failing euro after inflation has driven up the price of essential goods 43 per cent. The cost of bread is up by 49 per cent, milk 48 per cent, and the price of potatoes is up 116 per cent. All while a third of this small town is out of work.

Around 30 shops in the historic town, 75 miles south-east of Madrid, started accepting pesetas last month after urging customers to dig out any old notes and coins they had forgotten about.

(…)

News quickly spread, and shoppers from neighbouring villages and towns have been flocking there to spend the old currency.

After a one-month field test, the enthusiasm for the plan has ensured its renewal. Meanwhile, four other Spanish towns have reintroduced the peseta, as the country goes through an employment crisis worse than that of Greece, and the country’s credit rating has been knocked down another two notches.

America

The two modern examples of Greece and Spain, echo America’s own colonial history. Following China, America was the second location in the world to test fiat currency at the behest of the British Empire. The story is fully recounted in Chapter 8 of The Creature From Jekyll Island and is well worth a full read, but the salient point is that once colonists were repeatedly subjected to hyperinflation and depression through the overprinting of money, as well as having been subjected to broken promises and tyrannical rule by the Bank of England through the removal of coins, barter became a means of exchange and survival. Tobacco was the first commodity, but nearly anything of intrinsic value served equally well in restoring a semblance of power to individuals as a means for their self-determination.

Later, the colonists who disobeyed government dictates brought out their limited supplies of hoarded coins and re-built from the ground up using sound economic principles. Those colonies which used sound money, such as Massachusetts, won trade from fiat-money colonies like Rhode Island.

As Griffin states:

After the colonies had returned to coin, prices quickly found their natural equilibrium and then stayed at that point, even during the Seven Years War and the disruption of trade that occurred immediately prior to the Revolution. There is no better example of the fact that economic systems in distress can and do recover rapidly if government does not interfere with the natural healing process. (pg. 160)

And Ben Franklin proclaimed that King George III taking away the ability of the colonies to create their own currency was the true reason for the Revolutionary War:

The colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been that England took away from the colonies their money, which created unemployment and dissatisfaction. The inability of colonists to get power to issue their own money permanently out of the hands of George III and the international bankers was the prime reason for the Revolutionary War.

And this is the good news: what’s old seems to be new again; citizens within collapsed economies are once again turning their backs on centralized international government, ignoring their unjust policies, and instead are returning to the far simpler and more logical means of self-sufficiency and prosperity — their own inherent community strength built upon real production and trade between individuals. In short, decentralization.

Americans would do well not to forget that the actions taken by individuals in other severely collapsed countries are those also entrenched in America’s history. Let us all observe closely, then, how the first dominoes that have fallen in the latest cycle of depression are choosing to right themselves; for it would be at our peril to ignore history, and the momentum that already has pushed others toward the same foregone conclusion.

Our forgetfulness is perhaps the root cause of our repeated inability to sustain ourselves, until another collapse scenario forces us to take action.

For an instructive case study in the risks imposed on nations by international banking interests, as well as how anyone can survive the inevitable aftermath, please view the story of Argentina below:

SOURCE

Contingency Plan

British draw up plans to protect citizens across Europe from mass-rioting if Euro collapses

As the Italian government struggled to borrow and Spain considered seeking an international bail-out, British ministers privately warned that the break-up of the euro, once almost unthinkable, is now increasingly plausible. Diplomats are preparing to help Britons abroad through a banking collapse and even riots arising from the debt crisis. The Treasury confirmed earlier this month that contingency planning for a collapse is now under way. A senior minister has now revealed the extent of the Government’s concern, saying that Britain is now planning on the basis that a euro collapse is now just a matter of time. “It’s in our interests that they keep playing for time because that gives us more time to prepare,” the minister told the Daily Telegraph. Recent Foreign and Commonwealth Office instructions to embassies and consulates request contingency planning for extreme scenarios including rioting and social unrest. Greece has seen several outbreaks of civil disorder as its government struggles with its huge debts. British officials think similar scenes cannot be ruled out in other nations if the euro collapses. Diplomats have also been told to prepare to help tens of thousands of British citizens in eurozone countries with the consequences of a financial collapse that would leave them unable to access bank accounts or even withdraw cash. Fuelling the fears of financial markets for the euro, reports in Madrid yesterday suggested that the new Popular Party government could seek a bail-out from either the European Union rescue fund or the International Monetary Fund. There are also growing fears for Italy, whose new government was forced to pay record interest rates on new bonds issued yesterday. The yield on new six-month loans was 6.5 per cent, nearly double last month’s rate. And the yield on outstanding two-year loans was 7.8 per cent, well above the level considered unsustainable. Italy’s new government will have to sell more than EURO 30 billion of new bonds by the end of January to refinance its debts. Analysts say there is no guarantee that investors will buy all of those bonds, which could force Italy to default. -Telegraph

In an interview, former Dutch politician Frits Bolkestein predicted the “inevitable” breakdown of the Euro. He says Eurobonds would be a “disastrous” idea, saying…”That means that the Netherlands must pay more interest. I have calculated that thing up to seven billion euros per year. Each year, we already have problems to eighteen billion cut in four years.” And he says he would not “shed a tear” if Italy left. Ultimately he sees the emergency of a “Neuro” comprise of Germany and other Northern European economies. –Business Insider

SOURCE

Frying tonight

Frying tonight

BULLETS and bombs are so 20th-century. The wars of the 21st will be dominated by ray guns. That, at least, is the vision of a band of military technologists who are building weapons that work by zapping the enemy’s electronics, rather than blowing him to bits. The result could be conflict that is less bloody, yet more effective, than what is now seen as conventional battle.

Electromagnetic weapons, to give these ray guns their proper name, are inspired by the cold-war idea of using the radio-frequency energy released by an atom bomb exploded high in the atmosphere to burn out an enemy’s electrical grid, telephone network and possibly even the wiring of his motor vehicles, by inducing a sudden surge of electricity in the cables that run these things.

That idea, fortunately, was never tried in earnest (though some tests were carried out). But, by thinking smaller, military planners have developed weapons that use a similar principle, without the need for a nuclear explosion. Instead, they create their electromagnetic pulses with magnetrons, the microwave generators at the hearts of radar sets (and also of microwave ovens). The result is kit that can take down enemy missiles and aircraft, stop tanks in their tracks and bring speedboats to a halt. It can also scare away soldiers without actually killing them.

Many electromagnetic weapons do, indeed, look like radars, at least to non-expert eyes. America’s air force is developing a range of them based on a type of radar called an active electronically scanned array (AESA). When acting as a normal radar, an AESA broadcasts its microwaves over a wide area. At the touch of a button, however, all of its energy can be focused onto a single point. If that point coincides with an incoming missile or aircraft, the target’s electronics will be zapped.

Small AESAs—those light enough to fit on a plane such as a joint strike fighter (F-35)—are probably restricted to zapping air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles (the air force is understandably reticent about supplying details of their capabilities). Ground- or ship-based kit can draw more power. This will be able to attack both ballistic missiles and aircraft, whose electronics tend to be better shielded.

In the case of the F-35, then, this sort of electromagnetic artillery is mainly defensive. But another plane, the Boeing Growler, uses electromagnetics as offensive weapons. The Growler, which first saw action in Iraq in 2010 and has been extensively (though discreetly) deployed during the NATO air war against Colonel Qaddafi’s forces in Libya, is a souped-up version of the Super Hornet. It is fitted with five pods: two under each wing and one under the fuselage. Some pods contain AESAs or similar electromagnetic weapons. Others have eavesdropping equipment inside them. In combination, the pods can be used either to spy on enemy communications or to destroy them; to suppress anti-aircraft fire; to disable the electronics of ground vehicles; and to make life so hazardous for enemy aircraft that they dare not fly (and probably to shoot them down electronically, too, though no one will confirm this). The Growler is able to keep its weapons charged up and humming by lowering special turbines into the airstream that rushes past the plane when it is flying. America has ordered 114 of the planes, and has taken delivery of 53.

By land, sea and air

Nor are aircraft the only vehicles from which destructive electromagnetic pulses can be launched. BAE Systems, a British defence firm, is building a ship-mounted electromagnetic gun. The High-Powered Microwave, as it is called, is reported by Aviation Week to be powerful enough to disable all of the motors in a swarm of up to 30 speedboats. Ships fitted with such devices would never be subject to the sort of attack that damaged USS Cole in 2000, when an al-Qaeda boat loaded with explosives rammed it. A gun like this would also be useful for stopping pirate attacks against commercial shipping.

Land vehicles, too, will soon be fitted with electromagnetic cannon. In 2013 America hopes to deploy the Radio-Frequency Vehicle Stopper. This device, developed at the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate in Quantico, Virginia, is a microwave transmitter the size and shape of a small satellite dish that pivots on top of an armoured car. When aimed at another vehicle, it causes that vehicle’s engine to stall.

This gentle way of handling the enemy—stopping his speedboats, stalling his tanks—has surprising advantages. For example, it expands the range of targets that can be attacked. Some favourite tricks of modern warfare, such as building communications centres in hospitals, or protecting sites with civilian “human shields”, cease to be effective if it is simply the electronics of the equipment being attacked that are destroyed. Though disabling an aircraft’s avionics will obviously cause it to crash, in many other cases, no direct harm is done to people at all.

The logical conclusion of all this is a so-called “human-safe” missile, which carries an electromagnetic gun instead of an explosive warhead. Such a missile is being developed at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, and will soon be tested at the White Sands Missile Range.

There is, however, at least one electromagnetic weapon that is designed to attack enemy soldiers directly—though with the intention of driving them off, rather than killing them. This weapon, which is called the Active Denial System, has been developed by the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, in collaboration with Raytheon. It works by heating the moisture in a person’s skin to the point where it feels, according to Kelley Hughes, an official at the directorate who volunteered to act as a guinea pig, like opening a hot oven. People’s reaction, when hit by the beam, is usually to flee. The beam’s range is several hundred metres.

Such anti-personnel weapons are controversial. Tests on monkeys, including ones in which the animals’ eyes were held open to check that the beam does not blind, suggest it causes no permanent damage. But when a vehicle-mounted Active Denial System was sent to Afghanistan in May 2010, it was eventually shipped back home without being used. The defence department will not say exactly why. The suspicion, though, is that weapons like the Active Denial System really are reminiscent in many minds of the ray guns of science fiction, and that using them in combat would be a PR mistake. Disabling communications and destroying missiles is one thing. Using heat-rays on the enemy might look bad in the newspapers, and put civilians off their breakfast.

Cold showers are good for you

To every action there is, of course, an equal and opposite reaction, and researchers are just as busy designing ways of foiling electromagnetic weapons as they are developing them. Most such foils are types of Faraday cage—named after the 19th-century investigator who did much of the fundamental research on electromagnetism.

A Faraday cage is a shield of conductive material that stops electromagnetic radiation penetrating. Such shields need not be heavy. Nickel- and copper-coated polyester mesh is a good starting point. Metallised textiles—chemically treated for greater conductivity—are also used. But Faraday cages can be costly. EMP-tronic, a firm based in Morarp, Sweden, has developed such shielding, initially for the Gripen, a Swedish fighter jet. It will shield buildings too, though, for a suitable consideration. To cover one a mere 20 metres square with a copper-mesh Faraday cage the firm charges €300,000 ($400,000).

Shielding buildings may soon become less expensive than that. At least two groups of scientists—one at the National Research Council Canada and the other at Global Contour, a firm in Texas—are developing electrically conductive cement that will block electromagnetic pulses. Global Contour’s mixture, which includes fibres of steel and carbon, as well as a special ingredient that the firm will not disclose, would add only $20 to the $150 per cubic metre, or thereabouts, which ordinary concrete costs.

The arms race to protect small vehicles and buildings against electromagnetic warfare, then, has already begun. Protecting ships, however, requires lateral thinking. For obvious reasons, they cannot be encased in concrete. And building a conventional Faraday cage round a naval vessel would be horribly expensive.

Daniel Tam, of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego, thinks he has a way to get round that. He proposes to use the electrical conductivity of the sodium and chloride ions in seawater to create a novel type of Faraday cage. A shroud of seawater around a ship, thrown up by special pumps and hoses if the vessel came under electromagnetic attack, would do the trick, he reckons.

It is an ambitious idea. Whether it works or not, it shows how much the nature of modern belligerency is changing. Bombs and bullets will always have their place, of course. But the thought that a cold shower could protect a ship from attack is almost surreal.

SOURCE

CAFFEINE FOR BIKERS? Worst California biker feud in decade erupted at Starbucks

Worst California biker feud in decade erupted at Starbucks

By Jason Kandel

Cesar Villagrana, 36, of Gilroy, California is seen in this booking photograph released to Reuters on October 26, 2011. Villagrana was with Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew, leader of the Hells Angels chapter in San Jose, California, when a rival gang member shot Pettigrew to death on September 23 2011 in a casino in Sparks, Nevada.

– A turf war between the Hells Angels and a rival motorcycle gang that erupted outside a California Starbucks shop last year has left several men dead, wounded or missing in three states, stirring fears of more bloodshed.

Ranked by law enforcement as the most severe clash of two California-based biker groups in nearly a decade, the spate of violence turned deadly last month when it spilled into Nevada with a brawl and shooting among members of the Hells Angels and Vagos motorcycle clubs.

The president of the Hells Angels’ San Jose, California, chapter, Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew, 51, was shot to death, and one Vagos member was wounded in the melee at John Ascuaga’s Nugget hotel and casino in Sparks. A second Vagos member was wounded in a drive-by shooting the next day at the site of a nearby motorcycle rally in town.

The Pettigrew killing — coming 11 months after a gunfight between the two gangs in Arizona that left five people wounded — in turn sparked tensions within the Hells Angels’ ranks that led to yet another slaying in California, authorities say.

“There have been concerns about this rivalry for some time,”
said Graham Barlowe, resident agent in charge of the Sacramento office of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The last California biker feud of similar proportions grew out of a 2002 casino riot in Laughlin, Nevada, between the Hells Angels and another group known as the Mongols, Barlowe said. At least three bikers died as a result of that conflict.

DEAD OR ALIVE

The latest casualty of the Hells Angels’ recent battle against Vagos actually was inflicted by one of their own.

At Pettigrew’s funeral in California weeks after he was slain in Nevada, his close friend and sergeant-at-arms of the San Jose chapter, Steven Tausan, 52, was shot and killed by a fellow Hells Angel in an apparent quarrel among club members.

A police source familiar with the investigation said Tausan and others confronted the accused gunman, Steve Ruiz, over his perceived failure to have protected Pettigrew during the Nugget casino brawl, prompting Ruiz to pull a gun on Tausan.

A group of bikers then pounced on Ruiz as thousands of mourners streamed out of the cemetery, preventing police officers at the funeral from making an arrest, San Jose police spokesman Jose Garcia said.

In the end, it was unclear whether the bikers who descended on Ruiz did so to subdue him, beat him or help him escape, but witnesses said he was whisked away in a car, Garcia said.

Suspecting that Ruiz may have been killed at the scene and his body dumped into Pettigrew’s grave, police later obtained a search warrant to dig up the burial site, but they found no trace of Ruiz, Garcia said.

Last week, San Jose police received a tip that Ruiz was alive and hiding out in the northern California city of Stockton, but he was believed to have slipped away after investigators searched a home there to no avail on Saturday.

Garcia said authorities now believe Ruiz is on the run with a current or former girlfriend, noting that he has family and associates in Arizona and New York.

The recent bloodshed can all be traced to last year’s push by Vagos, founded in the 1960s in a Southern California desert community, into the northern coastal town of Santa Cruz, long claimed as Hells Angels territory, police said.

CAFFEINE FOR BIKERS

Tensions boiled over in January 2010, when members of the rival gangs, some wielding ball-peen hammers, fought outside a Santa Cruz Starbucks before scattering as police arrived.

“It was all about who would be allowed to hang out at the Starbucks downtown,” Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said. “The Vagos brazenly came in and tried to cement their presence. It was a pretty strong play on their part to establish themselves as the premiere club.”

He added: “Only in Santa Cruz would you have biker wars over who’s going to control pumpkin spice lattes.”

Seven months after the Starbucks ambush, violence between the two groups flared again in a gunfight in August 2010 that left five people wounded and led to 27 arrests in the northern Arizona town of Chino Valley.

The U.S. Justice Department has classified both the Hells Angels and Vagos as outlaw gangs deeply involved in drug and weapons trafficking, as well as extortion, money laundering, theft and various violent crimes.

The Hells Angels, by far the larger and better known of the two, was founded in 1948 in Fontana, California, and has since established over 230 chapters with an estimated 2,000 to 2,500 members worldwide, the government says.

The organization denies its involvement in criminal activity and argues the club should not be blamed for the illegal actions of individual bikers.

Members insist the overwhelming majority are law-abiding citizens who share a love of powerful motorcycles, especially Harley-Davidsons and choppers, and point to their prominent role in certain charity events as evidence that their outlaw reputation is exaggerated by the media.

Karen Snell, a San Francisco-based lawyer who has represented a number of Hells Angels members, said Pettigrew and Tausan, for example, were “family guys.”

“They made honest livings. They worked hard and were responsible,”
she told Reuters.

Police have arrested two people in connection with last month’s casino brawl, including Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, 53, a Vagos member suspected in Pettigrew’s slaying.

6 Creepy New Weapons Police and Military Use To Subdue Unarmed People

6 Creepy New Weapons Police and Military Use To Subdue Unarmed People

Rania Khalek
AlterNet

The US is at the forefront of an international arms development effort that includes a remarkable assortment of technologies, which look and sound like they belong in a Hollywood science fiction thriller. From microwave energy blasters and blinding laser beams, to chemical agents and deafening sonic blasters, these weapons are at the cutting edge of crowd control.

The Pentagon’s approved term for these weapons is “non-lethal” or “less-lethal” and they are intended for use against the unarmed. Designed to control crowds, clear streets, subdue and restrain individuals and secure borders, they are the 21st century’s version of the police baton, pepper spray and tear gas. As journalist Ando Arike puts it, “The result is what appears to be the first arms race in which the opponent is the general population.”

The demand for non-lethal weapons (NLW) is rooted in the rise of television. In the 1960s and ’70s the medium let everyday Americans witness the violent tactics used to suppress the civil rights and anti-war movements.

Today’s rapid advancements in media and telecommunications technologies allow people to record and publicize images and video of undue force more than ever before. Authorities are well aware of how images of violence play out publicly. In 1997, a joint report from the Pentagon and the Justice Department warned:

A further consideration that affects how the military and law enforcement apply force is the greater presence of members of the media or other civilians who are observing, if not recording, the situation. Even the lawful application of force can be misrepresented to or misunderstood by the public. More than ever, the police and the military must be highly discreet when applying force.

The global economic collapse coupled with the unpredictable and increasingly catastrophic consequences of climate change and resource scarcity, along with a new era of austerity defined by rising unemployment and glaring inequality have already led to massive protests in Spain, Greece, Egypt, and even Madison, Wisconsin. From the progressive era to the Great Depression to the civil rights movement, Americans have a rich history of taking to the streets to demand greater equality.

Meanwhile, tens of millions of dollars have been invested in the research and development of more media-friendly weapons for everyday policing and crowd control. This has lead to a trade-in of old school weapons for more exotic and controversial technologies. The following are six of the most outrageous “non-lethal” weapons that will define the future of crowd control.

1. The Invisible Pain Ray: The ‘Holy Grail of Crowd Control’

It sounds like a weapon out of Star Wars. The Active Denial System, or ADS, works like an open-air microwave oven, projecting a focused beam of electromagnetic radiation to heat the skin of its targets to 130 degrees. This creates an intolerable burning sensation forcing those in its path to instinctively flee (a response the Air Force dubs the “goodbye effect“).

The Pentagon’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program (JNLWP) says, “This capability will add to the ability to stop, deter and turn back an advancing adversary, providing an alternative to lethal force.” Although ADS is described as non-lethal, a 2008 report by physicist and less-lethal weapons expert Dr. Jürgen Altmann suggests otherwise:

” … the ADS provides the technical possibility to produce burns of second and third degree. Because the beam of diameter 2 m and above is wider than human size, such burns would occur over considerable parts of the body, up to 50% of its surface. Second- and third-degree burns covering more than 20% of the body surface are potentially life-threatening – due to toxic tissue-decay products and increased sensitivity to infection – and require intensive care in a specialized unit. Without a technical device that reliably prevents re-triggering on the same target subject, the ADS has a potential to produce permanent injury or death. ”

The weapon was initially tested in Afghanistan, but later recalled due to a combination of technical difficulties and political concerns, including the fear that ADS would be used as a torture tool making it “not politically tenable,” according to a Defense Science Board report. The tens of millions of dollars spent to develop the ADS did not necessarily go to waste, however.

While the weapon may be too controversial for use on the battlefield, it appears that nothing is too sadistic for use on US prisoners, so the ADS has since been modified into a smaller version by Raytheon, for use in law enforcement. Last year, the renamed Assault Intervention System (AIS) was installed at the Pitchess Detention Center’s North County Correction Facility at the behest of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD). Former LASD Commander, Charles “Sid” Heal had been lobbying for the pain ray for years, calling it the “Holy Grail of Crowd Control,” due to its ability to make people scatter almost instantly.

The device is operated by a jail officer with a joystick, and is intended to break up prison riots, inmate brawls and prevent assaults on officers. Sheriff Lee Baca added that it would allow officers to quickly intervene without having to physically enter the area to incapacitate prisoners.

The ACLU claims that use of such a device on American prisoners is “tantamount to torture.” The organization even sent a letter to the sheriff in charge, demanding he never use the energy weapon against inmates. “The idea that a military weapon designed to cause intolerable pain should be used against county jail inmates is staggeringly wrongheaded,” said Margaret Winter, associate director of the ACLU National Prison Project. “Unnecessarily inflicting severe pain and taking such unnecessary risks with people’s lives is a clear violation of the Eighth Amendment and due process clause of the U.S. Constitution.”

The pain ray’s use in the Pitchess Detention Center is a pilot program. If successful, the weapon could find its way into other prisons around the country. The National Institute of Justice has also expressed interest in a hand-held, rifle-sized, short-range weapon that could be effective at tens of feet for law enforcement officials.

2. The Laser Blinding ‘Dazzler’

The Personal Halting and Stimulation Response rifle, or PHaSR, is a massive laser shooter. PHaSR technology is being co-funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program (JNLWP), and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and is being developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory. While JNLWP is interested in the technology for military applications, NIJ is focusing on its law enforcement use.

So what is the purpose of this light-shooting toy? Well, it won’t kill you, but it will temporarily blind you — or as the NIJ prefers to say, it will “dazzle” you into disorientation — by shooting you with two low­-power diode­-pumped lasers.

Protocol IV, the Blinding Laser Protocol of the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons, states that, ”The use of laser weapons that are specifically designed, as their sole combat function or as one of their combat functions, to cause permanent blindness to unenhanced vision is prohibited.”

After the US agreed to the Blinding Laser Protocol in 1995 under President Clinton, the Pentagon was forced to cancel several blinding laser weapon programs that were in the works. But the PHaSR rifle can skirt this regulation because the blinding effect is apparently temporary due to its low-intensity laser.

According to a U.S. Air Force fact sheet, “The laser light from PHaSR temporarily impairs aggressors by dazzling them with one wavelength. The second wavelength causes a repel effect that discourages advancing aggressors.” The JNLWP website says that a significant amount of research and experimentation is still required to gain a full understanding of the safety, military effectiveness, and limitations of these future capabilities.

3. The Taser on Steroids

The Albuquerque Police Department now has Taser shotguns in its arsenal. Most of us are familiar with hand-held Tasers and understand that they only work if the police are standing pretty close to you (about 20 feet).

But Taser has developed the Taser X12, a 12-gauge shotgun that instead of firing lethal bullet rounds, is designed to fire Taser projectile rounds. Known as Extended Range Electronic Projectiles (XREP), the XREP cartridge is a self-contained, wireless projectile that delivers the same neuro-muscular incapacitation bio-effect (a fancy way of saying electric shock) as the handheld Taser, but up to 100 feet.

According to a July 21 press release, Taser International has taken the XREP to the next level, teaming up with the Australian electronic gun company Metal Storm to enhance the 12-gauge Multi-Shot Accessory Under-Barrel Launcher (MAUL).

The two companies will combine Metal Storm’s MAUL stacked projectile technology to “provide semi-automatic fire as fast as the operator can squeeze the trigger,” which boasts a full weapon reload of up to five rounds in less than two seconds. Picture five rounds of Taser XREP cartridges flying out in less than two seconds up to 30 yards away — that is the plan.

In September 2010 Raw Story reported that the rate of Taser-related deaths were on the rise. The story cited an Amnesty International report from 2008 that found 351 Taser-related deaths in the US between June 2001 and August 2008, a rate of just slightly above four deaths per month. About 90 percent of the victims were unarmed and did not appear to pose any serious threat, according to an article in the Boston Review. The Amnesty report points out that Tasers are “inherently open to abuse as they are easy to carry and easy to use and they can inflict severe pain at the push of a button without leaving substantial marks.“ In Amnesty’s US 2010 report, the Taser-related death toll had increased to 390. If the MAUL-Taser combined shooter find its way into police departments around the country, it may not bode well for the rate of Taser-related deaths.

Another project of Taser International, which was unveiled in 2009, is the Shockwave Area-Denial System, which blankets a large area with electrified darts, and a wireless Taser projectile with a 100-meter range, helpful for picking off “ringleaders” in unruly crowds. In 2007, Taser’s French distributor announced plans for a stun-gun-equipped flying saucer that fires stun darts at criminal suspects or rioters; however, it has yet to be unveiled. Clearly there is no limit to Taser International’s capacity for creativity.

4. Calmative Agents for Riot Control

Calmatives are chemical or biological agents with sedative, sleep-inducing or similar psychoactive effects. Although the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the use of riot control agents in warfare, JNWLP and NIJ have long considered calmatives for both military and law enforcement applications, such as dispersing a crowd, controlling a riot or calming a noncompliant offender.

The most well-known and widely used riot-control agents are tear gas (CS) and chloroacetophenone (CN), also known as mace. A few ways that more advanced non-lethal calmatives might be administered, depending on the law enforcement environment, would include a topical or transdermal skin application, an aerosol spray, an intramuscular dart, or a rubber bullet filled with an inhalable agent.

In the March 2010 issue of Harper’s magazine, Ando Arike gives an extensive overview of riot control technology in his article “The Soft Kill: New Frontiers in Pain Compliance.” He wrote:

Pentagon interest in “advanced riot-control agents” has long been an open secret, but just how close we are to seeing these agents in action was revealed in 2002, when the Sunshine Project, an arms-control group based in Austin, Texas, posted on the Internet a trove of Pentagon documents uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act. Among these was a fifty-page study titled “The Advantages and Limitations of Calmatives for Use as a Non-Lethal Technique,” conducted by Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory, home of the JNLWD-sponsored Institute for Non-Lethal Defense Technologies.

Penn State’s College of Medicine researchers agreed, contrary to accepted principles of medical ethics, that “the development and use of non-lethal calmative techniques is both achievable and desirable,” and identified a large number of promising drug candidates, including benzodiazepines like Valium, serotonin-reuptake inhibitors like Prozac, and opiate derivatives like morphine, fentanyl, and carfentanyl, the last commonly used by veterinarians to sedate large animals. The only problems they saw were in developing effective delivery vehicles and regulating dosages, but these problems could be solved readily, they recommended, through strategic partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry.

Little more was heard about the Pentagon’s “advanced riot-control agent” program until July 2008, when the Army announced that production was scheduled for its XM1063 “non-lethal personal suppression projectile,” an artillery shell that bursts in midair over its target, scattering 152 canisters over a 100,000-square-foot area, each dispersing a chemical agent as it parachutes down. There are many indications that a calmative, such as fentanyl, is the intended payload—a literal opiate of the masses.

5. Screaming Microwaves That Pierce the Skull

Researchers are in the process of developing the Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio or MEDUSA (that’s right, from Greek mythology), which uses a beam of microwaves to induce uncomfortable auditory sensations in the skull. The device exploits the microwave audio effect, in which short microwave pulses rapidly heat tissue, causing a shockwave inside the skull that can be detected by the ears. MEDUSA’s audio effect is loud enough to cause discomfort or even incapacitation. It may also cause a little brain damage from the high-intensity shockwave created by the microwave pulse.

MEDUSA’s intended purpose is deterring crowds from entering a protected perimeter, like a nuclear site, and temporarily incapacitating unruly individuals. So far the weapon remains in development and is funded by the Navy.

6. Ear-Splitting Siren

The Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, built by American Technology Corporation, focuses and broadcasts sound over ranges of up to hundreds of yards. LRAD has been around for years, but Americans first took notice when police used it in Pittsburgh to ward off protesters at the 2009 G-20 summit. It is generally used in two ways: as a megaphone to order protesters to disperse; or, if they disobey, as an “ear-splitting siren” to drive them away. While LRAD may not be deadly, it can permanently damage hearing, depending on how it’s used.

Similar sonic blasters have proven deadly. One is the Thunder Generator, an Israeli-developed shock wave cannon used by farmers to scare away crop-threatening bird. According to a Defense News report last year, the Israeli Ministry of Defense has licensed a firm called ArmyTec to market the Thunder Generator for military and security applications.

It works using gas from a cylinder of domestic liquid petroleum, which is mixed with air and then detonated, producing a series of high-intensity blasts. Patented “pulse detonation” technology ensures high-decibel blasts. With an effective range of up to 50 meters, the makers say it is extremely loud but will not do any lasting damage. They warn, however, that within 10 meters the Thunder Generator could cause permanent damage or even death.

The Impact

The application of pain to control or coerce people into submission helps achieve the desired aims of perception management, while sheltering the public from the brutality of such devices.

Perhaps these less-lethal tactics for crowd control do result in fewer injuries. But they also severely weaken our capacity to enact political change. Authorities have ever more creative ways to manage dissent, at a time when the need for change by popular demand is vital to the future of our society and the planet.

SOURCE

Obama Vs. Dancing with the Stars

Obama vs. Dancing With The Stars

Brandon Turbeville
Infowars.com
April 2, 2011

If anyone thought the President’s speech defending the attack on Libya was broadcast a bit earlier than other Presidential speeches in the past, it might surprise you to know that you were right. When scheduling a time for the speech to be televised, the White House consulted with television networks as it normally does.

However, this time around, a conscious decision was made to broadcast before 8pm. Why? Because 8 p.m. is primetime and broadcasting at 8 p.m. would have coincided with “Dancing With the Stars.” I’m not kidding. This was reported by USA Today, CNN, and ABC News Radio.

Just in case you don’t believe it, CNN reports:

As for the timing of President Obama’s Libya speech Monday night, the New York Times’ Bill Carter reports that the White House scheduled it around network shows, including ABC’s ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ In the end, all involved agreed on 7:30 p.m. ET, which meant the speech would end before ABC’s hit show – among other programs on NBC, CBS, and FOX, to name a few.

There is really no way to look at this decision in a positive light. The best possible scenario is that Americans are so addicted to brain cell murdering programs like “Dancing With the Stars” that they simply have no time or interest in watching a speech by a President who has no real connection to them and is only there to give them the party line on an agenda that they have no control over. That’s actually the best view I can think of, because at least it implies that the American people are aware that their government is unresponsive to anything they have to say.

However, another more frightening view (the one that I take) is that our controllers are aware of this. They know that regardless of what is going on in the world or how it affects them, Americans are quite content to sit on their couches growing bigger and dumber with each passing hour. They know that rather than forcing themselves to form an opinion on an issue such as the new Libyan war, they would rather watch a ridiculous show where washed-up celebrities do things they would otherwise never do except for the fact that their careers are almost over and they need whatever money they can get at the time.

Our controllers know that while bombs fall on innocent Libyan civilians, Americans will not raise so much as a finger to stop it because they are too busy immersing themselves in trivia and the subconscious desire to watch famous people fail. That is, after all, the only thing we have left in this country — the ability to watch others self-destruct so that we can feel a little better about our own lives. Of course, this saccharine version of self-respect only lasts as long as the program. Eventually we all have to get on with our dull, boring, and generally non-productive existence.

Indeed, our controllers know this quite well because it is the system they created. For those who are afraid that our society is in danger of becoming something out of Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World, I have some very disappointing news — it already has.

Our culture has degenerated into such a state where government officials and the mainstream media can now launch wars under the most outlandish methods of justification using recycled scare tactics based on interchangeable villains without the general public even noticing.

America is now involved in five wars and, realistically speaking, the average American would never be able to list all of them. Neverthless, it began with Afghanistan and the official fairy tale of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden. It then shifted to Iraq and bin Laden, which shifted into Iraq and WMDs, which, years later, shifted yet again to WMDs and bad intelligence. No doubt Americans are still convinced CIA-front “al-Qaeda” was involved, even though the US government doesn’t even try to hold this line anymore.

We then moved to “terrorists” crossing the border in Pakistan to Afghanistan, which justified the US murder of civilians in this country. Likewise, under the false pretenses of “al-Qaeda” operatives in Yemen and Somalia, the United States has been dropping bombs on these countries as well.

Now, in Libya, a fifth front has emerged. Unfortunately, the general American public having been bombarded by a myriad of boogeymen to be afraid of, has now reached the levels of being constantly so afraid that they can now be completely controlled by this fear. Yet, in the midst of it, they remain unable to articulate exactly what they are afraid of. In their minds, the term “terrorism” not only conjures images of Osama bin Laden and Muslim fundamentalists, but of all Middle Eastern countries (except Israel), American militias, anyone who speaks out against their government’s actions or doesn’t conform to narrow societal standards, plagues, flu, economic collapse, unemployment, and even the prospect of death itself. Logic no longer plays a part, if it ever did, in the culture of fear in which we now exist.

Intellectually, we have fallen so far as a nation that we cannot even describe the boogeyman Osama bin Laden and the fairy tales fed to us by our mainstream media and government controllers. We cannot even describe the details of exactly why Ghadaffi is such an evil man. In 2011, all that is needed is that the ever present channel of fear be tapped in to with a few mentions of “terrorism,” “al-Qaeda,” “extremists,” or “national security,” and the American people willingly rush off to war with little or no idea of what exactly they are rushing off to fight.

This is why a new war has been launched in Libya which is both illegal and immoral, a massive cost to the taxpayer, an act of blatant aggression, and the most obviously unconstitutional military action in American history with barely a peep from the citizenry.

Stock up with Fresh Food that lasts with eFoodsDirect (Ad)

Nevertheless, President Obama certainly walked a fine line Monday night. Indeed, he showed courage rarely expressed by American Presidents. Obama chose to present himself before the American people on the same night that “Dancing With the Stars” was scheduled to go on. One false move could have spelled disaster for him, as the President would have clashed with other, more fun, forms of entertainment. His plan could have backfired. His speech could have run too long. “Dancing With the Stars” could have been interrupted and, if that had happened, we might have finally seen a revolt in this country.

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Mullins, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University where he earned the Pee Dee Electric Scholar’s Award as an undergraduate. He has had numerous articles published dealing with a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, and civil liberties. He also the author of Codex Alimentarius – The End of Health Freedom.

This article first appeared on the Activist Post website.

Protests and Prices: A rise of the cost of food and oil

Protests and the pump

The Egypt effect may be more pronounced for food than oil

Commodities and the Middle East

    THE tide of unrest sweeping Egypt has whipped up waves in the oil market. Anxiety often has a role in determining the price of black gold and traders, with plenty to fret about, sent a barrel of oil above $100 for the first time in two years on January 31st. Fears abounded that the upheavals in Egypt might disrupt the passage of tankers through the Suez Canal and, worse still, that the popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia might spread across the Middle East.

    Oil..the other white meat

    So far the concerns seem overblown. Egypt is a small producer and actually imports a little oil. It is better known for its role as a transit route. Over 4% of global supplies of oil—after the lows of 2009 that equates to nearly 4m barrels a day now, according to Barclays Capital—are transported through the country, either by ship on the Suez Canal or along the SUMED pipeline (see map). Crude and refined products travel both ways on the canal (along with many other goods). But there is little hint that Egyptian authorities have any intention of disrupting this trade or that protesters have the means to prevent the oil from moving, even if they wanted to.

    If the canal shuts down, the pipeline has the spare capacity to take much of the displaced crude northward. Even a total halt would be far from catastrophic. There are plenty of spare tankers that could shift Gulf oil the long way to Europe around the Cape of Good Hope—putting a couple of weeks and some added expense on the journey. Some rebalancing of global flows might lessen the impact of plying the longer route: Gulf oil bound for Europe could be dispatched east and African oil bound for Asia sent to Europe instead.

    Hungry Hungry Hippo

    The world is in any case in a position to take some pain. It has decent stores of oil. As Adam Sieminski of Deutsche Bank points out, OECD inventories, with enough to cover 59 days of consumption, are relatively high compared with the historic average of 55 days. But the amount that China, the world’s second-largest importer, has in reserve is unclear.

    A far bigger concern in oil markets is that the troubles in Tunisia and Egypt could spread more widely in the Middle East, given the same mixture of unemployment, inequality and autocratic government that has underpinned the unrest in Egypt and Tunisia (see article). But even if similar problems did arise in the Gulf, Algeria or Libya it is far from clear that the spigots would be turned off. The most recent war in Iraq disrupted Gulf oil supplies for only three weeks.

    Route canal

    Events in Egypt may turn out to have a greater impact on other commodities, notably food. High food-price inflation has cut spending power across emerging economies (see article), where keeping bellies full accounts for a much larger share of income than in rich countries. The high cost of food is one reason that protesters took to the streets in Tunisia and Egypt. The price of bread has shot up since last summer when a drought in Russia, one of the world’s largest wheat suppliers, hit harvests and prompted an export ban.

    Analysts at Goldman Sachs point out that countries in the region may feel the need to head off political instability by spending to stockpile grain. Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Jordan have all stepped up efforts to build stockpiles. This could raise the pressure on other countries to hoard wheat, pushing prices even higher. In the short term this might even result in lower oil prices if OPEC countries pump more out of the ground to raise cash to assuage uppity populations.

    Irrespective of events in the Middle East, however, the pressure on oil prices is likely to grow. The market has recovered very strongly from the lows of 2009 thanks to bumper growth in emerging markets and a decent recovery in America. As Francisco Blanch of Bank of America Merrill Lynch points out, OPEC has not yet responded with extra supply to tame prices. It regards oil, priced in dollars, as a currency that the Federal Reserve is debasing with its “quantitative easing” money-printing, and would rather leave it in the ground for now. Even if OPEC eventually makes use of its spare capacity the world’s thirst for oil could start to outpace supplies in the next two years. Then $100 a barrel could look like a bargain.

    from PRINT EDITION | Finance and Economics

    http://www.economist.com/node/18070220

    Just following orders: Army soldiers train for Riot Control and Detention of civilians

    Vigilant Guard Riot Control, Detention Drills

    /div>

    Soldiers and Airmen from the Idaho National Guard lineup outside Wildwood Correctional Facility in Kenai, Alaska, for a natural disaster training exercise during the Alaska National Guard?s Vigilant Guard 2010, April 29. The Soldiers were at Wildwood to simulate assisting local authorities transfer prisoners to the correctional facility due to any type of emergency. Alaska NG VG-2010 is an exercise sponsored by the National Guard Bureau that allows Joint Force Headquarters, Joint Task Forces and various field units to improve command and control and to exercise operational relationships with local, state, regional and federal partners. (NCNG Photo by Army Sgt. Zach Otto; Joint Task Force-Tarheel, North Carolina National Guard)

    Soldiers and Airmen from the Idaho National Guard lineup outside Wildwood Correctional Facility in Kenai, Alaska, for a natural disaster training exercise during the Alaska National Guard?s Vigilant Guard 2010 exercise, April 29. The Soldiers were at Wildwood to simulate assisting local authorities transferring prisoners to the correctional facility due to another type of emergency. (NCNG Photo by Army Sgt. Zach Otto; Joint Task Force-Tarheel, North Carolina National Guard)

    U.S. Army Col. Allen Boyette, Joint Task Force-Tarheel Deputy Commander, Command Sgt. Maj. Ernest Bouton, JTF-Tarheel Command Sergeant Major, and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Mark Louden, JTF-Tarheel Human Resource Officer, talk with Sgt. Dave Cleveland, Alaska Correctional Officer, at the Wildwood Correctional Facility in Kenai, Alaska, during the Alaska National Guard?s Vigilant Guard 2010, April 29. Alaska NG VG-2010 is an exercise sponsored by the National Guard Bureau that allows Joint Force Headquarters, Joint Task Forces and various field units to improve command and control and to exercise operational relationships with local, state, regional and federal partners. (NCNG Photo by Army Sgt. Zach Otto; Joint Task Force-Tarheel, North Carolina National Guard)

    National Guard members from Alaska, Idaho and Oregon participate in riot control training April 26, 2010, at Elmendorf AFB. The 48 Citizen Soldiers and Airman from all three states will receive additional training—non-lethal target practice, and entry control point and convoy operations. The enhanced training is preparation for exercise operations in Kenai at Wildwood Correctional Facility, a local shopping mall, and interacting downtown with civilians in the aftermath of a simulated major earthquake as part of Vigilant Guard, an annual disaster-based training scenario that tests the coordination of National Guard units with local, state, regional, and national disaster preparedness organizations. (Photo by Air Force Maj. Candis Olmstead) (Released)

    National Guard members from Alaska, Idaho and Oregon participate in riot control training April 26, 2010, at an Elmendorf AFB training site, Forward Operating Base Mad Bull. The 48 Citizen Soldiers and Airman from all three states will receive additional training—non-lethal target practice, and entry control point and convoy operations. The enhanced training is preparation for exercise operations in Kenai at Wildwood Correctional Facility, a local shopping mall, and interacting downtown with civilians in the aftermath of a simulated major earthquake as part of Vigilant Guard, an annual disaster-based training scenario that tests the coordination of National Guard units with local, state, regional, and national disaster preparedness organizations. (Photo by Air Force Maj. Candis Olmstead) (Released)

    Alaska Army National Guard Soldiers assist Anchorage Police to calm or detain rioters as part of the training scenario of exercise Vigilant Guard Ft. Richardson, Alaska, Wednesday April 28, 2010. Vigilant Guard is an annual, disaster-based training scenario that tests the coordination of National Guard units with local, state, regional, and national disaster preparedness organizations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen, North Carolina National Guard) (Released)

    Alaska Army National Guard Soldiers assist Anchorage Police to calm or detain rioters as part of the training scenario of exercise Vigilant Guard Ft. Richardson, Alaska, Wednesday April 28, 2010. Vigilant Guard is an annual, disaster-based training scenario that tests the coordination of National Guard units with local, state, regional, and national disaster preparedness organizations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen, North Carolina National Guard) (Released)

    Alaska Army National Guard Soldiers assist Anchorage Police to calm or detain rioters as part of the training scenario of exercise Vigilant Guard Ft. Richardson, Alaska, Wednesday April 28, 2010. Vigilant Guard is an annual, disaster-based training scenario that tests the coordination of National Guard units with local, state, regional, and national disaster preparedness organizations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen, North Carolina National Guard) (Released)

    National Guard Soldiers assist Anchorage Police to calm or detain rioters as part of the training scenario of exercise Vigilant Guard Ft. Richardson, Alaska, Wednesday April 28, 2010. Vigilant Guard is an annual, disaster-based training scenario that tests the coordination of National Guard units with local, state, regional, and national disaster preparedness organizations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen, North Carolina National Guard) (Released)

    Alaska Army National Guard Soldiers assist Anchorage Police to calm or detain rioters as part of the training scenario of exercise Vigilant Guard Ft. Richardson, Alaska, Wednesday April 28, 2010. Vigilant Guard is an annual, disaster-based training scenario that tests the coordination of National Guard units with local, state, regional, and national disaster preparedness organizations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen, North Carolina National Guard) (Released)

    Fort Richardson, AK. — National Guard Soldiers assist Anchorage Police to calm or detain rioters as part of the training scenario of exercise Vigilant Guard Ft. Richardson, Alaska, Wednesday April 28, 2010. Vigilant Guard is an annual, disaster-based training scenario that tests the coordination of National Guard units with local, state, regional, and national disaster preparedness organizations. U.S. Army photo by 1st Sgt. Mike Cummings, 115th MPAD, Oregon Army National Guard (Released)

    Fort Richardson, AK. — National Guard Soldiers assist Anchorage Police to calm or detain rioters as part of the training scenario of exercise Vigilant Guard Ft. Richardson, Alaska, Wednesday April 28, 2010. Vigilant Guard is an annual, disaster-based training scenario that tests the coordination of National Guard units with local, state, regional, and national disaster preparedness organizations. U.S. Army photo by 1st Sgt. Mike Cummings, 115th MPAD, Oregon Army National Guard (Released)

    Alaska National Guard Soldiers escort a protestor away after assisting Anchorage Police to calm or detain rioters as part of the training scenario of exercise Vigilant Guard Ft. Richardson, Alaska, Wednesday April 28, 2010. Vigilant Guard is an annual, disaster-based training scenario that tests the coordination of National Guard units with local, state, regional, and national disaster preparedness organizations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen, North Carolina National Guard) (Released)

    Members of the National Guard from Idaho and Alaska apprehend an insurgent within the secured perimeter at mock Forward Operating Base Mad Bull on Elmendorf AFB during Vigilant Guard Alaska 2010. (Photo by Air Force Maj. Candis Olmstead.)

    Members of the National Guard from Idaho and Alaska apprehend an insurgent within the secured perimeter at mock Forward Operating Base Mad Bull on Elmendorf AFB during Vigilant Guard Alaska 2010. (Photo by Air Force Maj. Candis Olmstead.)

    Members of the National Guard from Idaho and Alaska apprehend an insurgent within the secured perimeter at mock Forward Operating Base Mad Bull on Elmendorf AFB during Vigilant Guard Alaska 2010. (Photo by Air Force Maj. Candis Olmstead.)

    Members of the National Guard from Idaho and Alaska cuff an insurgent outside a mock prison during Vigilant Guard Alaska 2010. (Photo by Air Force Maj. Candis Olmstead.)

    Airman 1st Class Shawna Pascua 154th Medical Group, Hawaii Air National Guard triage specialist during Vigilant Guard heads to triage patients who are simulated to have possibly been contaminated by unknown hazardous materials. Vigilant Guard is a premiere joint training exercise designed to enhance interoperability between federal, state and local volunteer agencies in case of disaster. Photo by Sgt. Karima Turner, Alaska National Guard Public Affairs

    Anchorage, AK. Standing outside the command tent, CPL Jason Nauta, Hawaii Army National Guard, helps PFC Monica Marks with her gloves before giving her clearing her for final inspection, then to assist in removing casulaties during an exercise in Anchorage, Alaska. Nauta is a fulltime technician assigned to the Hawaii Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high-yield Explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP). PAO Released. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen, N.C. National Guard

    Anchorage, AK. After inspecting his checmical suit, CPL Jason Nauta, Hawaii Army National Guard, clears SPC Terrance Shorter to assist in removing casulaties during an exercise in Anchorage, Alaska. Nauta is a fulltime technician assigned to the Hawaii Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high-yield Explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP). PAO Released. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen, N.C. National Guard

    A member of the 103rd Civil Support Team (Weapons of Mass Destruction), right, scans a member of the Anchorage FIre Department for residual chemical agents after responding to a simulated chemical spill as part of the training scenario of exercise Vigilant Guard in Anchorage, Alaska, Monday, April 26, 2010. Vigilant Guard is an annual, disaster-based training scenario that tests the coordination of National Guard units with local, state, regional, and national disaster preparedness organizations. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy)(Released)

    A member of the the 103rd Civil Support Team (Weapons of Mass Destruction), left, decontaminates a local first responder after responding to a simulated chemical spill as part of the training scenario of exercise Vigilant Guard in Anchorage, Alaska, Monday, April 26, 2010. Vigilant Guard is an annual, disaster-based training scenario that tests the coordination of National Guard units with local, state, regional, and national disaster preparedness organizations. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy)(Released)

    Members of the Hawaii National Guard’s Chemical, Biological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosives Enhanced Response Force Package prepare patient for movement after extracting him from the rubble of a simulated collapsed parking garage during the training scenario of exercise Vigilant Guard in Anchorage, Alaska, Tuesday, April 27, 2010. Vigilant Guard is an annual, disaster-based training scenario that tests the coordination of National Guard units with local, state, regional, and national disaster preparedness organizations. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy)(Released)

    http://publicintelligence.net/vigilant-guard-2010-riot-control-detention-drills/